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Sulpicius Severus

Sulpicius Severus (born around 360, died between 420 and 425), wrote the earliest biography of Saint Martin of Tours.

Sulpicius Severus was an aristocrat of Aquitaine intended for an administrative career and educated in the classical manner who, after the early death of his wife, renounced his career and entered the monastic life.

Sulpicius' correspondence with his friend Paulinus of Nola tells us something of Sulpicius' own life and opinions and more of his actions in founding a monastery and decorating its buildings. Both men, members of the late Roman senatorial aristocracy, turned to ecclesiastical careers.

Sulpicius wrote a world chronicle, (Chronicorum Libri duo or Historia sacra), which extends from the creation of the world to A. D. 400, omitting the historical events recorded in the New Testament writings. It is an important source of information for the Arian controversy, especially with regard to Gaul.

Sulpicius's life of Saint Martin of Tours was begun during the lifetime of St. Martin (who died only in 397) and remained the most popular biography of that very popular saint.



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